Saints deserved win but red card was a joke, says Everton's Ancelotti

(Reuters) - Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was humble in defeat after losing their unbeaten Premier League start in Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Southampton but complained that Lucas Digne did not deserve to be sent off for an accidental foul.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Everton - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - October 25, 2020 Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti Pool via REUTERS/Andy Rain

Southampton beat league leaders Everton 2-0 at St Mary’s Stadium with goals from James Ward-Prowse and Che Adams as Ancelotti’s side were blunted for the first time in all competitions this season.

“We didn’t play well, Southampton were better than us and they deserved to win,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports.

“Sometimes you are not at your best, it came after a really good run for us. Now we have to look forward with the same spirit and belief. We tried to get back into the game, we had some good control after half time.”

However, as Everton tried to get a foothold in the game, their problems were compounded when Digne received his marching orders for a stamp on Kyle Walker-Peters with about 20 minutes left on the clock.

Ancelotti confirmed Everton would appeal the decision but said Jordan Pickford escaping punishment for a potential season-ending tackle on Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk may have influenced the decision to punish them.

“The red card was a joke, it was not intentional. Maybe it was a yellow, for sure it was not violent conduct,” Ancelotti said.

“Maybe all this talk all week against Pickford, against Richarlison (who was sent off against Liverpool), affected the decision and if so it’s not right, it’s not fair.”

Ancelotti also fired a stark warning to his squad with tough fixtures on the horizon.

“I told the players winter is coming and we will have to react,” he added.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar